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Struggling Kwekwe owed $50m

By Michael Magoronga

Kwekwe City Council is struggling to provide basic services due to low revenue inflows as it is owed $50,2 million by residents, institutions and companies.

Kwekwe City Council is preparing a list of defaulters which it intends to hand over to its lawyers for prosecution
Kwekwe City Council

According to council, the defunct Zisco owes $15m, Redcliff Municipality $3,7 million while residents owe $12m. Other debtors include companies like Lancashire Steel, Zimasco and individuals and organisations leasing council properties and some who bought stands.

Presenting the 2020 budget proposal to ward development coordinators, Kwekwe City’s finance director, Mrs Rejoice Maweni said the local authority has been struggling to buy water treatment chemicals.

“Council business has been literally crippled by lack of cooperation by ratepayers. We are finding it difficult to break even as prices continue increasing at a time when the number of defaulters is also increasing,” she said.

Mrs Maweni said council was supplying water to neighbouring Redcliff Municipality which was also in arrears.

“Maybe as stakeholders you can come up with proposals on how to deal with debtors like Redcliff Municipality. We cannot cut water supplies on humanitarian grounds but they have definitely been giving us a torrid time as they are failing to fulfil their promises,” said Mrs Maweni.

She said some who include Government and Zimasco have cleared their arrears which she said was a good development.

“I think Zimasco is now up to date and also Government. They are the ones who are paying off our Zesa bill of about $18 million. We are grateful to such ratepayers and encourage those in arrears to come up with payment plans,” she said.

Mrs Maweni said in the 2020 budget, council, was proposing to review tariffs in the second quarter guided by prevailing economic environment. The Chronicle